I imagine it’s completely different for someone with different trauma. I sometimes wonder about that. And I think it would be different if my own trauma were more limited. I mean, if it wasn’t so much death and dismemberment and grief and loss and more just abuse and fear and shame, I would have different things to say about it. It would do different things to me to remember it. I don’t know.

The process is probably the same. We have to work with it in the same way. But I wonder how different my story is.

Because I get these unexpectedly wonderful things amidst the horror. If your trauma is different than mine, does that happen? I wonder, because maybe the good things in your past either didn’t exist or didn’t become such powerful losses that you blocked them out along with the bad stuff. If there was good stuff in there, maybe you never forgot it or maybe there never was any good stuff. You have your present, and it had better be good. If your present sucks, then you’re SOL. My present is okay, I guess. I mean, it’s mixed, which mostly everyone’s is. But what makes the present rich for me is its intersection with the good bits of the past.

I am getting good stuff today.

I have a bit of downtime in the day, and what I feel is unconditional love. Warm arms around me and that instinctive, whole-body sense of being accepted and loved and wanted no matter what. If no one ever really loved you—if all your family was all made up of what I think of as people with relational impairments—then this is something you have to get later, as an adult. If it happens at all.

Still, I wonder who she was. Who was Moder-jaan?